Declaration Affirms Pro-Life Stand

BRATISLAVA, February 13, 2002 ( – The parliament of the Slovak Republic adopted a declaration January 28, 2002, which affirms national sovereignty in culture and ethical issues. The declaration sets out clearly that ethical and cultural concerns such as life and family, must remain “in the exclusive power of the member states and respected by the European Union”. The declaration also contains pro-life statements. The protection of life and the dignity of [the] human being from the conception to death” forms part of “the basis of society” in line with the “traditional values and ethical principles of the European civilisation”, says the document.

While debate on the declaration lasted almost the whole first day of the 54th parliamentary session, the measure presented by Christian Democratic Movement [KDH] deputy Vladimir Palko was passed by an overwhelming majority. Leftists in parliament claimed the declaration was unnecessary but Conservatives warned that sovereignty over issues beyond culture and ethics required safeguarding. Conservative deputy Frantisek Sebej said, “I therefore believe that not only cultural and moral but, for example, also foreign policy, security, defense, tax and other issues should to the greatest possible extent remain in the hands of national governments.”

The declaration was motivated by concerns that the European Union may in time try to impose uniform ethical standards which do not respect the fundamental dignity and inviolability of human life. Frantisek Miklosko [KDH] explained the necessity of the intervention saying, “We must realize that the [EU] convention, which is now being set up, will draft Europe’s constitution. So, if there is still time to take a stance on matters in this process of the unification of Europe and unification of its emerging constitution, now is the time.”

(with files from SPUC News Digest and Radio Slovakia)